Pather Panchali

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Satyajit Ray's debut film, and the first installment in his "Apu Trilogy," quietly and intently studies a family living in the grip of poverty in a Bengal village. This was the first film of a great body of work characterized by visual beauty, humor, and emotional generosity, and announced the arrival of a major new director on the world scene, as well...read more

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Satyajit Ray's debut film, and the first installment in his "Apu Trilogy," quietly and intently studies a family living in the grip of poverty in a Bengal village. This was the first film of a great body of work characterized by visual beauty, humor, and emotional generosity, and announced

the arrival of a major new director on the world scene, as well as the debut of Indian cinema in the West.

The father, a struggling writer, sets off to seek his fortune in the city, leaving his wife to take care of the children and an elderly aunt. Mere survival is a struggle for the poor family and the mother worries about how much the old lady eats. What follows is a series of perfectly ordinary

events with a cumulative emotional power which may make some western viewers forever question the way Hollywood tells our stories. It's a powerful, unforgettable experience to watch characters whose lives are so different from our own, but whose concerns are ultimately universal. The remaining two

films of the trilogy, APARAJITO and THE WORLD OF APU, follow the son, Apu (here played by Subir Banerjee), into manhood and fatherhood.

Commissioned in 1945 to illustrate a children's version of the popular novel Pather Panchali, Ray became interested in bringing the novel to the screen, even though he had no previous film experience (nor did most of his crew). The production began sporadically on weekends, and was often

interrupted by cash shortages before the Bengal government helped finish the picture. Like all Ray's best films, PATHER PANCHALI is influenced by the work of Jean Renoir (Ray visited the set of THE RIVER during its production in India) and of the Italian neorealists.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Satyajit Ray's debut film, and the first installment in his "Apu Trilogy," quietly and intently studies a family living in the grip of poverty in a Bengal village. This was the first film of a great body of work characterized by visual beauty, humor, and e… (more)

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